The Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN) has stated that its national cocoa festival, which is scheduled to hold on the October 18 and 19 in Abuja would chart the way forward on innovative and sustainable ways of up scaling Nigeria’s cocoa production beyond 2025.
A statement that was issued by CFAN said that the event would feature the launch of United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) food for progress trade projects in Nigeria, and afford stakeholders in the supply chain the opportunity to strategise on how to make the Nigerian cocoa industry sustainable ahead of other cocoa origin countries.
The event whose theme is “Upscaling Nigeria Cocoa Sustainability Beyond 2025” is expected to address the prevalent socio-economic issues hampering the sustainability of Nigeria’s cocoa industry.
The National President of CFAN, Mr. Adeola Adegoke, said that the local and international cocoa industry stakeholders attending the festival would engage in important dialogue to devise strong, pragmatic approaches that could move the sector toward sustainability and return Nigeria back to being a leading cocoa-producing origin country as it was in the sixties.
According to reports, Nigeria is fourth in cocoa production after Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia and is the third largest exporter of cocoa after Ivory Coast and Ghana, covering 6.5 share of global production with about 350,000 MTS of cocoa beans and with an average production per hectare at 350-400kg.
The statement added that Nigerian cocoa has excellent qualities, such as good bean count, low slatey, low mold, and strong aromatic and smooth flavor which make Nigerian cocoa highly desirable in the global cocoa market.
“There is significant need for collective action to upscale Nigerian cocoa’s sustainable production in order to meet demand, which includes improving its traceability. This effort to upscale production also requires robust support for the growers that produce the cacao to boost their productivity as well as their income through sustainable livelihood activities, such as further processing and packaging their cocoa for local consumption,” CFAN said